Don't End Your Evening with a Food Borne Illness

June 1,2016

It's Friday afternoon and you are rushing home from work, after all in a couple of hours your house will be filled with friends. Since you knew you'd be running behind schedule, you figured it couldn't do any harm to leave some frozen foods thawing on your kitchen countertop. If this sounds familiar, chances are the last thing on your mind right now are food borne illnesses. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every six Americans suffer from a foodborne sickness every year.

Nothing can ruin the fun like someone getting sick. Each year in the United States, an estimated 48 million people suffer needlessly, and food-borne illnesses cause more than 128,000 people to visit the emergency room. These are staggering numbers that lead approximately 3,000 deaths annually. Although anyone can end up sick from a bad food experience, high risk groups include: pregnant women and their unborn child, older adults, people with immune system deficiencies, infants and children.

Stop Foodborne Illness is a national advocate for the safe handling and preparation of food. Their website is dedicated to keeping the public up to date on potentially harmful outbreaks and recalled food products. The non-profit group offers these tips to help you avoid food poisoning:

     1) Don't Buy Dented or Bulging Cans

     2) Inspect Fresh Eggs Before Using

     3) Keep Fresh Meats and Seafood Separated

     4) Thaw Foods in the Refrigerator

     5) Wash All Fruits and Vegetables

     6) Wash Hands After Handling Raw Food

     7) Don't Marinate Meats at Room Temperature

     8) Use a Meat Thermometer to Ensure Doneness

     9) Eat Leftovers Within Three Days of Cooking

Most food borne illnesses are caused by certain strains of bacteria, however viruses, parasites and chemicals may also cause you to become sick. After eating a meal, you should immediately refrigerate any perishables. Place a descriptive, dated label on your leftovers to prevent anyone from consuming older leftovers that may not be safe. Being more mindful of shopping, preparing and storing food will decrease your likelihood of getting sick. If you do suffer from food poisoning symptoms, visit either PrimeMed location for prompt treatment.